Tax increase on old cars is justified

Editor,

RE: “Old cars are not necessarily hazardous to environment” (The New Times, February 18).

Mr. Dayo Ntwari is misleading the public when he says that the age of car doesn’t matter. When it comes to emission, it matters a lot.

In those industrialised countries you are referring to, they do not do emission tests on new cars. Why? Because their emission systems are new and still working properly. As a car gets older, many of its parts—including the catalytic converter—will eventually fail to perform as required and will allow dangerous particles to go into the atmosphere and will need to be replaced.

I strongly support the new taxes system (introduced by REMA) as it will discourage the importation of very old cars into the country. Older cars are a drain to our hardly earned foreign exchange. When you buy a new car, it will take you many years before you need spare parts. Older cars frequent garages and need frequent parts replacement than new ones.

In fact, those cars may not be cheap even in the short-run since you in few years may spend more money into fixing it than you bought it. You may argue that not many people will afford new cars, but who said that every Rwandan has to become the “my car “? (This term was used to describe car owners in Uganda some time ago.)

You are also claiming that more people in industrialized countries buy low-emission cars than other because they save money. That is not also true. Those cars cost several thousands of dollars more and are currently not affordable by many buyers.

Seth